The best PFD for kayaking is indeed a hot search nowadays. Alongside the advent of kayaking and other water sports, these PFDs also rose up.
A PFD, or a personal flotation device, is a gear that should come in your kayaking checklist. If you are not a good swimmer, this utility can help you overcome any scenarios where the boat gets capsized. Of course, even those who know how to stay afloat in the water are still required to wear these PFDs.
With a personal flotation device, your safety in the water will be guaranteed. It can bring you a sense of peace, especially if you are bringing your family and children with you.
However, not all PFDs are great. Some are proven to inhibit your mobility and comfort. Therefore, I do agree that some options that you should prioritize first. Here are some of them.
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- Best PFD for Kayaking on the 2022 Market
- #1. Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest - Editor's Pick
- #2. O'Neill Men's Superlite USCG Life Vest - Runner-Up
- #3. Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest - Budget-Friendly Pick
- #4. Astral YTV Life Jacket PFD - High-End Choice
- #5. Body Glove Women's Phantom Neoprene Life Jacket - Best Kayaking PFD for Women
- Types of PFDs
- Essential Features of PFD
Best PFD for Kayaking on the 2022 Market
1. Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest - Editor's Pick
2. O'Neill Men's Superlite USCG Life Vest - Runner-Up
3. Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest - Budget-Friendly Pick
4. Astral YTV Life Jacket PFD - High-End Choice
5. Body Glove Women's Phantom Neoprene Life Jacket - Best Kayaking PFD for Women
I chose the Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest because of its impeccable conforming feature. You will not struggle with this, especially when it comes to the fit as the vest itself will provide an almost perfect contour wrap. Because of this design, you will never have to fear that the vest will be removed from your body. Furthermore, it ensures that your movements are not hampered at all.
The mobility that this PFD offers is one of the grand reasons why it is preferred by many paddlers. Aside from that, this item is comfortable, too. There are multiple vents installed on this outdoor gear to improve its breathability. I also noticed that the back of this life vest could accommodate kayak seats with tall back panels. As a result, it will never disturb your form while paddling.
If you are looking for "standards," then the O'Neill Men's Superlite USCG Life Vest should be a good choice. This one was made to meet the strict requirements of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) for a personal flotation device. Because of this, you can guarantee that the ergonomics, buoyancy, and overall comfort of this life vest are on top. Moreover, the item is not as bulky as other PFDs, which makes them great for those who are searching for low-profile PFDs.
The materials that have been used for this life vest is impressive as well. The exterior shell is crafted from coated polyester so that it can resist damages. It also serves as proof that this PFD can last for a very long time. Meanwhile, the insides of the Superlite feature a polyethylene layer. The latter lets you feel that you are wearing a light and comfortable safety vest for kayaking.
Interestingly, some high-quality PFDs can be found in the entry-level category. I did not believe this idea first, but the moment I encountered some affordable but fantastic outdoor gears, my mind has already changed. For a price-friendly PFD, the Stearns Classic Series Vest is an excellent option. This one prides itself as a highly comfortable life vest due to the presence of paddings and foams. Moreover, it is a USCG-approved PFD so its durability and functionality should be expected already.
There are three adjustment straps installed on this life vest. They will allow you to find the perfect fit for this gear so that you can paddle without encountering discomforts. A polyethylene interior ensures that this vest will not annoy its wearer. The buoyancy of this PFD is quite reliable. It can really raise your body to the surface of the water even if the conditions are not favorable.
The Astral YTV Life Jacket PFD is a gear that you shouldn't miss. It is a high-quality vest that features optimal buoyancy on any occasions. It comes with PVC-free polyethylene foam inserts so that you can keep floating while you are on the water. By far, the United States Coast Guard has this vest rated with a Type V rating, which certifies that it is a good paddling vest.
This PFD features the Torso Lock fit for guaranteed secured fit. This mechanism is easy to access and operate so that you can quickly adjust the tightness of the vest. Even if you are doing explosive movements, the jacket will not be moved away from you. Because of this feature alone, many whitewater and freestyle paddlers became drawn to the Astral YTV. Perhaps, this is the personal floatation device that will be able to give a sense of security while you are surging on rough waters.
Women should choose personal floatation devices that have been tailored for them. After all, their fit is not the same as men. If you let them wear life jackets that are too big or too bulky for them, their movement will definitely be hampered. Fortunately, options have been provided for them already. An example of this is this Phantom PFD from Body Glove. One of its key features is its ability to conform to the shape of the body of its user. It can snugly wrap their body without sacrificing comfort or mobility.
This PFD also features a durable neoprene shell construction. This synthetic material offers a light and comfortable feel whenever it is worn. There are inner tech linings and segmented foam integrated on the vest to ensure that it floats all the time. Furthermore, the Phantom has advanced air foam technology for ride-up prevention. Meanwhile, the spandex sides are there to optimize your mobility so that you can paddle better.
Types of PFDs
Not all PFDs are made the same. In fact, there are ratings that you should know so that you will be able to determine what type of PFD you should get. In here, we talked about the best PFD for kayaking. But not all of them belong to the same category. It would be wise if you will have a background to their classifications so that you can decide which of them will work well for you.
The categorization for these PFDs is created by the United States Coast Guard. Therefore, a high-quality PFD should have met the qualifications of the USCG. Otherwise, the quality of the PFD is already questionable.
For kayaking, I do recommend that paddlers get the Type III and Type V PFD. These are the most comfortable options that you can have for paddling activities. They are extra safe, too.
Essential Features of PFD
A PFD is definitely a must-have for kayaking. With this gear, your safety in the water is guaranteed. It can make wet exits a lot easier, even if you are not a good swimmer. Furthermore, they can keep you afloat even if you lose your consciousness while being drifted by rushing waters.
However, it is still essential that you inspect the ergonomics and features of a PDF. In this way, your adventure would be as smooth and as convenient as it should be. Here are the must-haves for a PFD.
The best PFD for kayaking is pivotal for your safety. Whenever you head out in the rivers or oceans, make sure that you are wearing this particular gear. It is the very amenity that can ensure that you don't get drown if your boat capsizes. If you are not a good swimmer or diver, a floatation device is definitely necessary. In fact, I do discourage people from paddling without this particular gear.
That's it for now. If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comment section below.